Gladstone, New Jersey October 31, 20012000 Sydney Olympic Gold Medalist David OConnor of The Plains, VA was named United States Equestrian Team (USET) Athlete of the Month following his winning the USETs Fall Eventing Championship at the Fair Hill International CCI *** in Fair Hill, MD, October 25 28, on board The Native, owned by Jacqueline Mars.
OConnor, who has now won the USET Championship a record five times, went clear in the stadium jumping phase of the competition and incurred .4 time penalties during the cross country phase, finishing with a three phase score of 58.8 penalties. OConnor defeated last years champion, Austrailias two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Phillip Dutton, who rode Cayman Went to final score of 63.40. Dutton had received 5 jumping penalties in the final jumping phase of the competition when he lowered the rail at the last fence on the course.
After the final stadium jumping phase, OConnor commented, I really owe this win to my horse. I came out of the turn to the triple combination very badly and I didnt have the stride to the fence. This horse tries so hard and he really saved me.
Additionally, OConnor, who previously won the USET Fall Championship in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999, finished third overall and second in the USET Championship with Tigger Too, owned by Joseph Zada, with a final score of 71.40.
In the 2000 Olympic Games, OConnor won the individual Gold Medal and team Bronze Medal. His illustrious career highlights also include a Silver Medal from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In 1999, he won team Gold and individual Silver Medals at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. OConnor also won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials CCI **** in 1997, becoming only the second American to win the event in its 49-year history.
The United States Equestrian Team is
a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians
of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international
competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of
talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides the support
and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For
more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET
ONLINE at www.uset.org